It would be misleading to answer someone’s questions of “How are you? How are things going?” with “Fine”; but, we do.
In reality, we don’t want to burden or alarm anyone with our trials and grief. Sometimes we don’t want to admit it to ourselves. Sometimes we even think we’re okay.
Then, for one reason or another, we realize we are not fine. What then?
Since my stroke eight months ago, the last two have been the most difficult and disheartening. Although I’ve made tremendous and miraculous progress, new painful challenges involving my jaw and stomach have compounded leftover physical repercussions.
Wondering about the future and often in pain, I asked God, “Is today the day You will take me home to heaven, Lord? If not, will I have time to write my children’s book? Do I have time to get all those family pictures scanned and labeled? What do You want me to do, Lord?” Time spent in God’s Word and in prayer brought peace for a while, but the turmoil returned. My mind and heart were tossed as in a storm.
Then one day I visited In Touch Ministries’ website to listen to Dr. Charles Stanley’s message, “Victim or Victor”. http://www.intouch.org/you/adversity/content?topic=victim_or_victor_video
I knew God wanted me to have victory over my fear and circumstances. While watching the video and listening to the message, He met me in my storm and broke the bondage of fear. I want you to know that in the midst of your storm, He’s ready and willing to offer you freedom and victory too. (Note: Dr. Stanley has a new message next week, “When All Hope is Gone). It can be found at http://www.intouch.org/.
What should you do?
If you haven’t already, the first step is to receive Jesus as your Savior and Lord. It’s more than going to heaven someday. It’s about a relationship between God (through His Son Christ Jesus) and you today. If you have never asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and to become your Savior and Lord, I invite you to do so. At the bottom of this writing is a simple prayer. Jesus is listening. Jesus is waiting. Jesus loves you.
If you are a believer and follower of Christ Jesus, here are some important things Pastor Stanley reminded me of:
“Whatever God sends, whatever He allows, God is in control, using it as a tool, to bring good into us and to us.” Psalms 103:19 “The LORD hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all. Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”
“God will not give you one more thing to go through beyond what you are able—with His help—to handle.” He will lift you, stretch you, and strengthen you to go as far as He wants you to go, and then show you His God-ordained way out/through. I Corinthians 10:13 “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”
How do I know this? Well, first, God does not lie (Numbers 23:19). Second, I know this by personal experience. For example, a week ago I awoke so tired it felt like I had nothing left to give. I cried out to Jesus. Do you know what God did?
God gave me the day off.
Then He gave me two more days off.
I rested, slept, ate, slept some more. I played. God took away the burning acid in my stomach for the day (irritating the aspirin therapy ulcers) and minimized it after that. He showed me better ways to deal with them until He heals me. If you want to hear another testimony, read about Elijah’s experience in I Kings 19:1-8. Also, Third Day’s “Call Out to Jesus” speaks to each person’s ultimate moment of desperation. You can hear the song and watch a deeply moving and encouraging video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeGNgBwPTMA.
Dear friend, God loves you. He doesn’t want you tossed about in a storm without hope for today or without hope for tomorrow. He is your hope. He wants to lift that heavy burden. Let Him. Let God do the heavy lifting and carrying. He’s strong enough and powerful enough. He is God Almighty. Matthew 11:28 “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
Father, I ask in Jesus’ Name, that You would reach out and help each person who is carrying their own heavy burden today. I thank You, Lord, that You do not give any person more than they can deal with if he/she will reach out to You. Please remind us that You are in control and how much You love us. Thank You for loving us. Thank You for being our Shield, our High Tower, our Protector, Provider, and Strength. Thank You for being You.
As I mentioned earlier, to ask for forgiveness of sins (we are born in a sin condition because of Adam and Eve’s first sin) and for Jesus to become your Savior and Lord, here is a sample prayer:
Dear Jesus, Please forgive me of my sins. I believe that You, God’s Son, died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin. I believe that You rose from the dead. Please come into my life and be my Savior and Lord. I repent (turn away) from my sins and will follow you all the days of my life. Your Word is Truth; therefore I confess with my mouth that I am born again (Romans 10:9-10) and am cleansed by the Blood of Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
God’s blessing to each of you,
GOOD MORNING GOD–a collection of scriptures to begin your day. Feel free to download the pamphlet for your use and to share.
Therese Marszalek Ministies–Bringing Hope and Healing for Today–www.theresemarszalek.com
Gateway Church–Pastor Adam Fox–Pointing the Way to Jesus www.gatewayspokane.org